Information hoarding

When I was sitting in the therapist's office waiting for TM, I happened to notice an informational page on hoarding. Since I am fascinated by all things brain/adoption related (and this wasn't specifically adoption related, just that hoarding can arise from hard backgrounds), I picked it up. Well, it was fascinating, but not for the reason I expected.

It started out with a thing called 'first-born syndrome'. Now, I'm not always one for labels, but I am a first-born, so on I read. It turns out that first-born's are very likely to become hoarders. Not necessarily of stuff, but of information. We like to know things. We like to know where we can find out things. And we like to know that we have that information available when we need it. This leads to hoarding. Hoarding along the lines of books, or magazines, or articles, or brochures, or... You get the idea.

Boy, talk about an eye opening thing to read. I'm not known as the 'Binder Queen' for nothing. I like binders because they hold and organize a lot of information. For instance, have I told you about the travel binders I created? These are two binders, organized alphabetically by state, where I have stored all possible vacation information: articles from magazines about interesting places to stay, campground handouts, those travel brochures that are at every motel and rest stop. This is besides the fact that I don't think I have opened the binders since I created them or the only time we travel these days is to visit family or process an adoption. I think I can safely say this is my personal form of hoarding. But it is organized hoarding.

There is hope for me though. Recently, even before I read the article, I had been purging my informational stashes... mainly because they were really dusty and I didn't want to look at them enough to bother cleaning them. I even looked at those travel binders a few weeks ago and thought I could probably just get rid of them as well. I don't think I am too far gone, but boy, was it interesting.

I found the whole thing so interesting that I tucked the page into my binder/calendar to bring home. Yes, I see the incredible irony now, but admittedly, it wasn't until I was recounting the whole to J. that it struck me. But there really was a reason I brought it home. There was also a section on 'genetic low serotonin levels' and a book recommendation about which foods are best for the brain.

Genetic low serotonin levels happen when a person has too many sites in their brain which are designed to get rid of old serotonin to make way for the new serotonin that is coming in. A problem arises when these reuptake sites work overtime and the person is constantly living with too little serotonin. Since low serotonin can lead to depression, insomnia,  and a negative outlook on life and about one's self, this can be pretty serious. It was the first time I had heard of this and found it interesting.

There is also a book called Blue Genes by Paul Meier which talks about chemical imbalances in the brain and there is a chapter about diet and which foods are best for the brain. Now, since we are all about cortisol (lowering it... it's why we all take fish oil) and serotonin (raising it... yogurt is a good thing) here, I'm really interested to read this. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.

Now, where to decide to store my really interesting piece of paper...


Lucy said…
If you don't use it, and don't love it enough to clean it, throw it away (Fly Lady's rules)... otherwise you become like a blind 80 something information horder I know, who has boxes of 20 year old ski slope maps - and won't throw them away because someone might want them someday.

I fight that myself, and i'm not first born ;-)

If you are interested in cortisol and seratonin, be sure to out who has some very interesting perspectives on those hormones, and incidentally, fish oil.
Shonya said…
This first-born information hoarder (65 boxes of books when we moved, remember?!) is giggling.
The Hamstras said…
Interested to hear what you learn from that article!

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